What Jesus Said to Outcasts
Topic: Biblical Scripture: Luke 17:11–17:19
An outcast group of lepers called out to Jesus for mercy and help in their condition. Jesus heals them yet something outrageous then takes place. Only one returns to give praise to God and thank Jesus for what he had done for them. The one who returned was a Samaritan, making him an outcast of outcasts. The one who would have been thought to be furthest from God is the one who returns to worship.
A short summary
- Lepers knew that they were jacked up…Spiritually, we are all jacked up lepers and too proud to cry out “Jesus have mercy on me." Those who see their condition before God will cry out to him for mercy and grace.
- Changed Life of the Samaritan - In contrast with the others, most likely from God's people Israel, the Samaritan returns. If we claim to know God yet have no thankfulness we need to question the scandal of ingratitude in our own lives.
- The Scandal of Ingratitude in our Own Lives - Christians throughout the ages would make a practice of listing out the rich blessings of their lives and thanking God for them. In our age we have a strange entitlement view that takes for granted the simplest and best blessing of life. We are slow to thank God but are quick to curse or doubt God in a moment even of the slightest struggle.
- New Life is one of Thankfulness to God – Our Thanksgiving changes the way we LIVE. Jesus told the Samaritan to rise to live a new life for his faith in Jesus had quite literally saved him.
Along with listening to the audio, we recommend you first read the theological essay Mr Un-Clean and the Gospel as a good background study.
- How does the existence of disease demonstrate to us: 1) the fallen and broke nature of the world? 2) Our need to for God?
- One of the lepers comes back to thank Jesus and give praise to God for his healing. British Scholar NT Wright wrote the following “This rhythm of faith and gratitude is simply what being a Christian, in the first or twenty first century, is all about.” Agree? Disagree? Discuss.
- In what ways can we express our gratitude to God? Do you feel you live a thankful life? Where do you need to repent of being thankless?
- Followers of Jesus throughout history have practiced a simple discipline of listing all the blessings in their life by name and then thanking God for them. Do this with your people this week.
- If you are a Christian, do you feel you take for granted what God has done for you in Jesus Christ? If you are not a Christian, what do you think of Jesus’ compassion for outcasts? His purpose was to die for and welcome home sinners—spiritual rebels and outcasts from God. Begin following him today and receiving his mercy and forgiveness.
- Read for Luke 13:1-9 for next week